Workshop method

Talking about digital identity while talking about services: results of the ID4Africa 2022 workshop

“Word of mouth is spreading faster than our official communications,” said Henock Ali of the National ID Program of Ethiopia during the follow-up session to the fourth workshop of the augmented general assembly of ID4Africa in Marrakech: “ Communication and Identity Awareness Strategies: Best Practices for Building Evidence and Engaging Audiences.’ Still in the pilot stages of implementing a MOSIP-based ID system, Ethiopia has much to gain from the workshop organized by the World Bank’s Identity for Development (ID4D) initiative.

The workshops covered four major identity questions in person and then via virtual interaction leading to LiveCasts commentary. Recommendations were made on public digital infrastructure, digital ID for seamless borders and Mission 100 for legal identity for all and how to persuade people to register. This last LiveCast workshop is available on YouTubeas well as over 30 previous recordings.

ID4D began the LiveCast Communication and Engagement Workshop feedback with a protest session, outlining the kinds of newspaper headlines they hope ID and liability projects will generate, such as “near 98% of the population now got ID” and academics tweeting their calculations of how many days of pay citizens save with reduced administration.

Recognizing that in reality there are often headlines about discrimination and dissatisfaction for projects, the ID4D team outlined best practices drawn from their experience and workshop discussions.

Principles of Engagement

Marie Eichholtzer, Digital Development Specialist at the World Bank – ID4D, explained how there needs to be a mindset shift away from one-way communications from government to people over identity schemes. This will help improve the design of the product.

Governments need to build legitimacy and trust around programs to increase willingness to enroll. There must be proactive inclusion to ensure universal access. Design programs to meet the real needs of people and use a human-centered design, integrating the diversity of the population. Authorities should also cultivate independent sources of feedback and handling of grievances. All of this can be constantly analyzed for improvement.

Workshop participants identified the main groups to be consulted: vulnerable people; Identification and civil status bodies; political and socio-economic rights groups, down to grassroots organizations such as labor groups; and digital rights organizations such as data protection authorities. The scope is important to avoid siled consultations.

Eichholtzer explained the six stages of engagement, from explaining the project vision to monitoring and evaluation, noting how the sixth stage should be integrated with the first stage for continuous improvement. There were also outlines on how to conduct the engagement and report on any session so participants can see how their input was used.

Communication: neutrality, unified brand and free laundry

“The room really underscored the importance of ID projects not being about registration, but getting people to access services and it’s very important to emphasize that in communication campaigns,” Eichholtzer said. It was a common message to ID4Africa in Marrakech.

Communication should be simple, tell stories, remain politically neutral, ensure relevance and cultivate a unifying brand. Incentives can help, such as the campaign in Nigeria to entice people to sign up with, apparently, free detergent. The Philippines managed to create a song for their identification program.

Tracking and measuring data allows for further improvement, explained Julia Clark, Senior Economist at the World Bank – ID4D. The data helps monitor systems and staff, helps program managers understand what is working and problem areas such as determining areas of a country where large numbers of parents do not have a room themselves ID required to register their children.

Metadata can help understand which categories of people are registered or not. Design evaluation studies and impact evaluations maintain the momentum to focus on and improve programs.

New ID4D guides on engagement and communication are imminent.

Lessons learned from real situations: rumors of the end times, noise and humility

Things were going well with the Ethiopian project until an industrial zone listing exercise drove rates down, Henock Ali said. His team can plot on a graph the occasional rumors prevalent among workers that the ID was linked to the end-time apocalypse. The team is now involving religious and spiritual leaders to campaign elsewhere, acknowledging that this view of the program will not change overnight as “word of mouth is spreading faster than our official communications”.

“It’s because when you tie identity to services, people feel like you’re forcing them to a certain number and that’s how the churches interpret that,” Kenya-based Mustafa Mahmoud explained. of the legal empowerment organization. name. “It’s at the end of time that people will be given a number.”

Mahmoud cautioned against commitment fatigue on projects and government interest only at the time of registration. “Unfortunately for many governments, including mine, we view the end user as the business that is going to access that data, not the person that is going to use that card to access the services they need.

“So most of the time we only engage when we get the document and unfortunately that’s the last exit point because if you don’t get it you never get it again.”

More than ten percent of Kenya’s population were unable to enroll in the country’s new digital ID system because they did not have credentials under the previous system. He suggested Ali go back to the drawing board in Ethiopia to engage with civil society so he doesn’t make the same mistakes again.

Relations between civil society organizations (CSOs) and the government were considered essential by participants, including Mahmoud.

“A fundamental, structural aspect is whether CSOs or some CSOs have not accepted the inevitability of the need for identity,” said ID4Africa Executive Chair Dr. Joseph Atick. “For me it’s a fundamental question which is if you don’t believe that identity should exist, then you don’t want to engage, you don’t want to talk with the government about serving the people, you want to do n Anything and everything is sensational to derail the project, to discourage people from participating and the question is, how do we get out of this?

The Chief Executive of the Nigerian Identity Authority, NIMC, Aliyu Aziz, said it was about picking up the cues from the noise, being humble and listening to people. “We don’t expect everyone to accept what we’re doing,” he said, referring to the population of 210 million.

Feedback has helped make the Nigerian system more responsive. The number of data fields collected has been reduced from 83 to just ten. It was a fingerprint bypass when someone is unable to provide fingerprints, and the application was introduced and tokenization developed.

Participants agreed that identity systems should remain neutral and apolitical. Dr Aaron Ramodume of South Africa’s Home Office said his country’s ID system was apolitical and got off to a good start with former President Nelson Mandela urging people to go get ID to then be able to vote. Who they voted for was their choice.

Aziz said it is possible for a government to launch an ID system and it remains apolitical. He believes that in Nigeria, the national identity number is accepted by the opposition and is in itself beyond political debate. NIMC has survived several presidents.

Article topics

best practices | biometrics | digital identification | government services | ID4Africa | ID4Africa 2022 | identification for development (ID4D) | identity management | national identity card | SDG 16.9 | world Bank